The Will to Power, Book I and II An Attempted Transvaluation of all Values

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 173

great Ionians; but only as transitional forms. The
_polis_ loses its faith in the unity of its culture, in its rights of
dominion over every other _polis...._ Cultures, that is to say, "the
gods," are exchanged, and thus the belief in the exclusive prerogative
of the _deus autochthonus_ is lost. Good and Evil of whatever origin
get mixed: the boundaries separating good from evil gradually
_vanish...._ This is the "Sophist." ...

On the other hand, the "philosopher" is the _reactionary_: he insists
upon the _old_ virtues. He sees the reason of decay in the decay of
institutions: he therefore wishes to revive _old_ institutions;--he
sees decay in the decline of authority: he therefore endeavours to
find _new_ authorities (he travels abroad, explores foreign literature
and exotic religions....);--he will reinstate the _ideal polis,_ after
the concept "polis" has become superannuated (just, as the Jews kept
themselves together as a "people" after they had fallen into slavery).
They become interested in all tyrants: their desire is to re-establish
virtue with "_force majeure_".

Gradually everything _genuinely Hellenic_ is held responsible for
the state of _decay_ (and Plato is just as ungrateful to Pericles,
Homer, tragedy, and rhetoric as the prophets are to David and
Saul). _The downfall of Greece is conceived as an objection to the
fundamental principles of Hellenic culture: the profound error of
philosophers_--Conclusion: the Greek world perishes. The cause thereof:
Homer, mythology, ancient morality, etc.

The anti-Hellenic development of philosophers' valuations:--the
Egyptian influence ("Life after death" made into law....);--the Semitic
influence (the "dignity of the sage," the "Sheik");--the Pythagorean
influence, the subterranean cults, Silence, means of terrorisation
consisting of appeals to a "Beyond," _mathematics_: the religious
valuation consisting of a sort of intimacy with a cosmic entity;--the
sacerdotal, ascetic, and transcendental influences;--the _dialectical_
influence,--I am of opinion that even Plato already betrays revolting
and pedantic meticulousness in his concepts!--Decline of good
intellectual taste: the hateful noisiness of every kind of direct
dialectics seems no longer to be felt.

The _two_ decadent tendencies and extremes run side by side: (a) the
luxuriant and more charming kind of decadence which shows a love of
pomp and art, and (b) the gloomy kind, with its religious and moral
pathos, its stoical self-hardening tendency, its Platonic denial of the
senses, and its preparation of the soil for the coming of Christianity.


To what extent psychologists have been corrupted by the moral
idiosyncrasy!--Not one of the ancient philosophers had the courage to
advance the theory of the non-free will (that is to say, the theory
that denies morality);--not one had the courage to identify the typical
feature of happiness, of every kind of happiness "pleasure"), with the
will to power:

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Human, All-Too-Human: A Book for Free Spirits, Part 2

Page 7
Page 53
--"We know how to tell many lies," so sang the Muses once, when they revealed themselves to Hesiod.
Page 56
(12)--Who of us could dare to call himself a "free spirit" if he could not render homage after his fashion, by taking on his own shoulders a portion of that burden of public dislike and abuse, to men to whom this name is attached as a reproach? We might as well call ourselves in all seriousness "spirits free of domicile" (_Freizuegig_) (and without that arrogant or high-spirited defiance) because we feel the impulse to freedom (_Zug zur Freiheit_) as the strongest instinct of our minds and, in contrast to fixed and limited minds, practically see our ideal in an intellectual nomadism--to use a modest and almost depreciatory expression.
Page 68
Page 70
Page 82
If we were good ploughland, we should allow nothing to be unused or lost, and in every thing, event, or person we should welcome manure, rain, or sunshine.
Page 84
For we must thereby confess to ourselves, "There is in you some element of fraud--your speech, your expression, your bearing, your eye, your dealings; and this deceitful something is as necessary as your usual honesty, but constantly destroys its effect and its value.
Page 85
The dead rise again, and our antiquity becomes modernity.
Page 87
Certainly, however, greatness in comportment is often used as the mask of envy.
Page 93
Let us not say that here as everywhere the fault lies with human _unreason_.
Page 96
In reality, however, the sum of our actions and cognitions is no series of facts and intervening vacua, but a continuous stream.
Page 104
Reason, which knows law, prohibition, and command, should have left no choice, they say, and should have acted as a constraint and a higher power.
Page 113
As such, he would not recognise the duty of seeing and speaking the truth; he would not _feel_ the sentiment at all.
Page 122
Page 151
Page 160
Page 170
The most inveterate enemies of democracy (I mean the spirits of upheaval) seem only to exist in order, by the fear that they inspire, to drive forward the different parties faster and faster on the democratic course.
Page 171
--On this point, in fact, we must pronounce a much sterner verdict.
Page 175
--When the injustice of property is strongly felt (and the hand of the great clock is once more at this place), we formulate two methods of relieving this injustice: either an equal distribution, or an abolition of private possession and a return to State ownership.
Page 179